MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRI M.M. PALLAM RAJU)
(a) to (c) A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (c) OF LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO.53 FOR 27TH FEBRUARY, 2013, ASKED BY SHRI P.LINGAM AND SHRI NIKHIL KUMAR CHOUDHARY REGARDING ASER REPORT ON EDUCATION
(a) & (b) The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is brought out annually by PRATHAM, a non-governmental organization. The ASER Rural-2012 (Provisional) presents certain positive findings, including that more than 96% children in the 6-14 years age groups are enrolled in schools in rural areas, while the percentage of out-of-school children in the 6-14 years age group has dropped from 4% in 2009 to 3.5% in 2012. The report expresses concern regarding learning levels of children in schools in rural areas.
(c) Government is committed to improving the quality of elementary education. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which become operative with effect from 1st April, 2010, places obligation on the appropriate government and local authority to ensure good quality elementary education conforming to the norms and standards specified in the Schedule to the Act. The norms of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for universalizing elementary education, have been revised to conform to the provisions of the RTE Act and several steps have been taken to improve the quality of elementary education, including recruitment of additional teachers, periodic in-service training of teachers, free distribution of textbooks, regular academic support to primary and upper primary schools through Block Resource Centres and Cluster Resource Centres and support for learning enhancement programmes for Mathematics and Language. Since the commencement of the RTE Act in April 2010 sanctions under SSA have been given for construction of 30,808 primary schools and 10,644 upper primary schools, 6.88 lakh additional classrooms, 31,678 drinking water facilities, 5.18 lakh toilets and for appointment of over 7 lakh teachers.